Thingish Things

Truth in Advertising

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - May• 11•11

Please sir, may I have some more?

Joel Klein included a gem of a quote from the late head of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), Albert Shanker, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed yesterday.

“When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interest of school children,” Shanker was quoted as saying.

That statement is a breath of fresh air, even though it was delivered decades ago (Shanker died in 1997.) It makes clear the priority of the UFT:  Teachers.  And there is no shame in that. Unions are supposed to represent their members.

What bothers me is when the UFT and other unions like New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) invoke children in their negotiating advertisements.  In those, it’s always about “the children” and never about the teachers.

Sample ad here.

Today, we read in the New York Post about the battle Mayor Bloomberg is having with city teachers.  He is being forced to lay off thousands of teachers because the unions will not forgo automatic pay raises mandated by New York’s pro-union Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law.  According to the story,  spending on teachers in New York City has increased 105 % in the past 10 years because of Triborough, while increases for other city workers average 28 %.

Rather than forgo step increases to keep their fellow teachers in jobs, the UFT is demanding the automatic raises while screaming about “the children” when talk of teacher layoffs is raised. It is totally disingenuous.

I never thought I’d be saying this, but we could  use an honest voice like Albert Shanker’s today.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Your Friend says:

    And across the pond the other highly respected Murdoch paper, The Sun, reports on a skateboarding dog!!

  2. That dog is awesome!

  3. cede says:

    While I certainly don’t side w/ the unions in this as the pay increases you cite are lopsided, I also don’t think it’s entirely fair for Rosebud to put all the blame on them. While teacher salaries may be double what they were when he took office, education spending as a whole has TRIPLED in that time. Worse, test scores haven’t budged. Although the spin machine has made it appear as though mayoral control was the panacea for NYC’s education ills, at this point it has only been wildly less efficient than the the old Board of Education…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.